Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bank Machine Plunder

"men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work."
-Frédéric Bastiat, The Law, 1848

Notwithstanding Bastiat's claim above, the amount of work that goes into plunder, or outright theft in this case, need not be trivial: Check out Chris Walters' posts over at The Consumerist on what an ATM card skimmer looks like.

Having had a credit card recently stolen and fraudulently used, I see part of the attraction to this activity for criminals: law enforcement has grown apathetic. Note that it is now the credit card companies themselves that carry out the investigations into such activities; a great example of private markets filling the need for a service supposedly provided by the government. Notice the quote in the first story about the police telling the person to give the device to the bank. I find that appalling. The skimmer is a piece of evidence; a crime was committed (or at least attempted). Isn't that where they come in?

There is perhaps but one item 0n which people from almost any political belief can come to agreement: it is the government's responsibility, if not its primary function, to uphold and enforce the law. Yet our government appears more concerned about finding ways to increase its role in our lives while it continues to fall short in performing the roles we have collectively already granted to it.


1 comment:

  1. All work is not created equal. To some, hard work creating such devices isn't work at all, it's a hobby. It only helps that it pays better than breaking into web developers' servers.

    Beware of the credit card companies playing cop. The card holder is always the first suspect as can be attested to by many people.